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Romana Schmalisch: Mobile Cinema

13/10/2017 – 21/20/2017

Berlin-based Romana Schmalisch is bringing her Mobile Cinema to NN for a week of screenings. She will begin with a performance lecture, presenting a montage of images and film extracts on her long term project The Choreography of Labour using her Mobile Cinema as a presentation apparatus. In The Choreography of Labour, a project developed at the Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Romana Schmalisch examines different historical and contemporary strategies of efficiency and education that are centred around the body. On the one hand, the project critically examined choreographer Rudolf Laban’s techniques to improve workers’ efficiency for production and on the other, it investigated the different programs that job centres in Paris use in order to make unemployed young people, or those with limited working capability, fit for the demands of the labour market.

For this lecture-performance at NN, Schmalisch revisits Mobile Cinema, a project where the idea of a travelling popular cinema was explored. The form for the Mobile Cinema was derived from Alexander Medvedkin’s film The New Moscow (1938). In this film, an engineer presents his designs and visions for Moscow on this structure as the real space of the city is represented by cinematographic means.

Schmalisch constructed the Mobile Cinema and used the apparatus to present a montage of images and film extracts on different subjects to the audiences at the diverse performance venues, and complemented it by reading text contributions by invited guests. Over the years, the programme constantly changed; materials and filmic notes collected or produced on the journeys found their way back into the Mobile Cinema programme, sometimes also leaving it and becoming independent films in their own right.

At NN the Mobile Cinema serves as a mediating device to talk about the relationships between labour and art. Over the period of the exhibition different film extracts and archive material around the relation of dance and labour will be shown.

To date, the Mobile Cinema has travelled to 31 locations including Zurich, Moscow, Rome, Bucharest, Kaliningrad, Vilnius, Kaunas, Warsaw, Berlin Muzychi, Kiev, London, Paris and Yerevan.

A publication about the Mobile Cinema, published this year by Archive Books will be presented as well. Please click here for more information.

About the artist

Romana Schmalisch (1974, born and based in Berlin) studied Fine Arts at the University of Arts (Universität der Künste) in Berlin where she graduated with an MFA in 2002. She was a resident artist in several stipend programs, among others as a researcher at the Fine Art Department of the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, the Berlin Senate’s stipend program in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery and Studio Voltaire, London and at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris.

Recent exhibitions/screenings: La Commune, centre dramatique national, Aubervilliers/Paris (2017 with Robert Schlicht), Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz, Vienna Biennale (2017), Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, in co-operation with the 25. FilmFestival Cottbus (2015), Archive Kabinett, Berlin (2015), Biennale 8/Program at Crash Pad c/o KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2014), Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers (2013/2014), Kunstsaele, Berlin (2013/2014), Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2013), after the butcher, Berlin (2013).

Artist Information Area: Northampton

Whilst the Mobile Cinema project is happening we are inviting artists to contribute to the Artist Information Area: Northampton. The AIA is a resource for anyone wanting to find out more about artists from the county. It will contain box files of artist info, CVs, press cuttings and prints of works. The boxes will be put together and updated by the artists and the files will live at NN for visitors and researchers to look through.

To make this happen we need YOU! Are you an artist? Becoming a part of the Artist Information Area is simple. Gathering your information and bring it to NN during the Mobile Cinema project. A good starting point is to include the following:



Artist statement

Images of individual works and works in situ


Photocopies of any press coverage

Contact details*

Make sure when you bring in your materials you bring it in an envelope clearly marked with your name and Artist Information Area: Northampton.

If you want to contribute in future simply email info@NNContemporaryArt.org to let us know you are interested and bring your envelope to NN during our opening hours or post it to us marked Artist Information Area.

*if not on CV already, we recommend you include a link to your website or blog and if you have neither then an email address you are happy to have the public access.

Romana Schmalisch
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